Top American surfers out to find their way on to the 2010 ASP World Tour found the time to sneak in one more ASP 6-Star event in Brazil before heading back home to battle for this historic US$100,000 prize purse at this year’s Hurley U.S. Open. Huntington Beach local Brett Simpson, 24, was the top performer for the continental 48 when he netted a fifth place finish at the Coca Cola Saquarema Pro, maintainig his ninth place overall rating on The Grind.

All standout competitors on the ASP WQS are out to finish within the top 15 on the international series to earn a slot on the ASP World Tour for the following year and with a reseed occurring after the U.S. Open, surfers competing at the coca Cola Saquarema Pro were hungry to donate top performances to solidify their spot in the main events for the remaining year.

Simpson has been a standout performer throughout the first half of the year and his fifth place result in Brazil was no exception. The talented regular-footer topped several international standouts including former ASP World Tour surfer and event local Leonardo Neves (Saquarema, BRA), and Australian free-surfing mastermind Yadin Nicol (Margaret River, AUS), 23, on the way to his noteworthy result.

“The waves are really fun, fortunately that wave came my way,” Simpson said. “On my 9.17 score (out a possible of 10), I was on the spot and the other guy was too deep so I paddled into the wave, did two big turns and a huge floater. That was a great wave. This is my first time here, and the best waves that I’ve surfed here in Brazil. Fernando de Noronha Island is better, but it’s a different type of wave, and this is a great place for a contest and if the waves continue like this it will be perfect for us.”

Simpson is now gearing up to compete in front of his home crowd. Last year, the young talent’s third place result made him the top local finisher at the U.S. Open and Simpson will look to keep his hot streak alive with the strong support of his local fans when he takes on some of the world’s finest ASP Dream Tour surfers who will be out to take this year’s impressive prize purse.

Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 21, is currently the top rated American on The Grind and is sitting in fifth place after the Coca Cola Saquarema Pro. Gudauskas finished 17th overall at the Brazilian-based event alongside Nathan Yeomans (San Clemente, CA), 28, and Shaun Ward (Huntington Beach, CA), 26, who also earned equal 17th place results.

After the Coca Cola Saquarema Pro, mainland America currently has five surfers sitting within the top 15 on The Grind, including Tanner Gudauskas, who is currently in fifth, brother Patrick Gudauskas, 23, who is currently sitting in eighth, Simpson in ninth, North San Diego County native Austin Ware (Solana Beach, CA), 28, is rated 12th and Nathan Yeomans, 28, is standing 13th overall on The Grind.

America’s finest up-and-coming talent are now out to log a result on their home turf when they compete at the Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing, which will kick off the main event on Monday, July 20, 2009.